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How to 360° VR Motion Graphics: Cinema 4D, After Effects, Mettle tutorial | Part 1

Hey what’s up everybody’s your boy Hugh
here from CreatorUp I’m here with Jonathan my name is Jonathan Winbush I’m a motion graphics artist. I’m working in an industry over a decade now working in
movies like Iron Man you know my little pony
TV shows like wait I embody the pony that is uh yeah you know the Marvel
stuff my son likes that My Little Pony stuff my daughter likes it as a good
blend in there nice nice so I’ve been doing VR for about four or five years
now mostly working in a 360 space I was
actually dubbed by some members of Adobe as a pioneer in the field with them
because of my work with Mix Master Mike we have worked on a project called the
magma chamber which was the first ever hip hop 360 music video and yeah during
that time you know it’s a lot of experiment and I discovered what Mettle
was doing we kind of worked together and yeah build a monster of a project and it
went on to win a couple of awards we made our Bjork that year queen with
Bohemian Rhapsody at the VR fest and then it went on to the Cannes Film
Festival as you can see on the wall we’ve won I think for the first one we
won like six awards internationally Nice yeah it’s just been going full
steam ahead then our second project the moonbase invasion just won even crazier
you know we were just experimenting even more and we’re actually working on a
third track now we can’t mention who’s gonna be a part of it but it’s got me
another monster so not the VR train just keeps on moving. For you guys don’t know what’s Mettle Mettle is a plug-in and right now
integrated inside of Adobe so allow you to insert footage into a CG
environments we make it look cool so Jonathan I know today you’re gonna show
a little bit about your magic is cinema 4d After Effects composition and maybe
FLUX too right yeah yeah so a little bit of flux a little bit Mantra like you said
I work mainly in After Effects and cinema 4d so I’ll show you guys how to
take some green screen footage composited together and after-effects
and it won’t build our environment in cinema 4d and the beauty about that is
there’s no stitching involved at all hey thought-out you build out your set you
know you put your 3d camera in the middle when yeah you just render it
you’re good to go so that way you can really focus on the positive magic days
i love with your i hate stitching what I’m going to show that first is
how to be this wormhole effect this is similar to what I did for it Mix Master Mike moonbase invasion video I want to take files in the NASA it looks like you
can use all that stuff from free public domain and what we’re going to do is
we’re going to take these images make them so that they’re a seamless texture
and bringing me the cinema 4d wrap them around a sphere and then basically make
a loop so when we bring into After Effects we don’t have to worry about
rendering thousands of frames we could just make 150 frames loop at 60fps and
then we’ll just have to keep looping and looping and you can add different
effects to it like mantra’ they’re kind of just you know spice it up a little
bit and not make it look like it’s a continuous loop so this is a fact that
we’ll be creating here let’s get started if you go to Google and look up like
NASA and nebula images you’ll see a whole plethora stuff show up here so I
usually just go through maybe click on the first one see what kind of images
that have here like I said everything is free to use and you can get some pretty
beefy images like this one it’s 11 megabytes I’ve seen stuff go up to 16 K
so kind of just go through search for which you want and let’s say I
downloaded this one earlier so I’m going to show you guys how to make it into a
seamless texture so I grabbed this one the Carina Nebula and there’s this
program called be to I’m by algorithmic and basically b2m allows you to take any
type of steel and make it into a seamless texture so whether you have
like a grass texture or rock texture anything that you want to want to use in
CG you want it to be seamless on the edge so because when you put it on your
geometry you don’t want to see any like blocked out edges you want everything to
be nice and flush so when you open up the program you see it says drop a
bitmap here so I’m gonna go to the Karina image that
I downloaded from that so drop it in here make it the main input and
automatically you see it come up on this geometry here now you can have any type
of geometry in here but the cube is kind of just the basic so you can see along
the the edges there and so you can make it
any output you size you want up to 4k so just for the example I just do 4k and
then you go over here under global and you see a little icon here it is make it
tile now you have several different options here you go through if you
really just want to kind of dial it in but just for this reference here or this
example I’ll just click random and then you’ll see after it’s done calculating
here we have our our seamless texture and I mean that was literally like two
three clicks you know you can dial it in any way that you want but yeah it gives
you a pretty good seamless texture right off the bat and then you can actually
output it with um you know you can have metallics
you can have your roughness pass your displacement bump map normal she could
have a whole bunch of stuff output with it so that when you bring it in the CG
you get out a little the bumps and wrinkles and the reflections and
everything else so I mean I would just say I think I have a trial I say go to
the website try it out and just play around with it but yeah that’s just a
quick little tutorial on how to do that detail about the replacement map like
the thing you just mentioned I the output format yeah so when you’re inside
of CG let me open up the image they made earlier so this is the textures that I
made earlier so when you output that you’ll get these right here so this is
your base which is your color that’s just your flat your color image
and then your bump map which I’ll show you in cinema 4d it would take the
values of the black the whites and they’re great and depending on where
it’s at like I believe it’s the the blacks know the whites raise higher and
a blocks or flat so when you bring it on think of it as like a mountain terrain
so yeah yeah basically and so your blacks would be level and then the grace
will be higher higher higher and then the whites will be your peak and then
your normal Maps right here you see this like purplish bluish image that’s just
all your little details so you put that on top of your
on top of your geometry no I had like the little crevices and the little
little Nick’s and everything in there just add a little bit more fun or detail
to your geometry so I’ll show you that now actually where all that stuff does
so let me get out of this program here come into cinema and you might notice
this from the video we play earlier so this is a quick breakdown I’m not gonna
go through everything here like that’s for you no I sent him a tutorial but
it’s really really basic so I made a cylinder let me open up a new project so
you can see so if you go over here this is all your basic geometry and so
basically all I did was leave make a tube and then you know he can make it as
long as you want so what I did was I made the rim pretty much all the way out
and then I just made it crazy long like your height I said like mm and so this
is just your – I think I think I’ve won as long as she could go and then it
wasn’t quite long enough so I just kept replicating and replicating it and
that’s why you want this seamless texture – good I just wanted a really
long tube so we could have the camera go through it super fast so it looks like
you’re traveling almost like doctor who is intro and it just looks crazy once
you get it to go seamless so I just created a really long tube here let me
go back to my other window and so if you look at it from the top view this is how
long our tube is so it’s just crazy long and if you look right here that actually
exists that’s our camera so the way that I animated it was actually only have the
camera sitting in the debug position so the XYZ is all zeroed out and then on
the rotate I just have it rotating left or right a little bit just you know to
give it that little bit of hovering feel and the way that I animated the wormhole
was actually animated the cylinder moving so that to keep my camera Zack
zero move the cylinder and way I was able to kind of angle it out
and get a good loop point so if I play this from the top you could see the
cylinder is just moving and I had to manually match it up by eye like I went
and we see so this is our camera view here so I took it from that and then
went up 150 frames and then just kind of eyeball it it says like okay that looks
like that and I just got it close enough that it would just make a good loop
point because each cylinder has the same texture on it and so basically you know
it’s all just gonna loop out back to show you how we made this texture here
from scratch and so what I like to use is a third-party rendering engine called
red shift now the cinema 4d render is good but its
CPU and for a lot of stuff that I’m doing in like 4k or even in VR which can
get up to like 6 a K you want to use GPU rendering so in my machine here I have 4
1080 T eyes and I have the AMD 1850 thread Ripper and I wanted saying cruel
advantage of those graphics cards because you know speed is everything you
want to render it out so you get to the creative part so you don’t want to be
sitting around so when I’m using this red shift here the principle is the same
for making a material using just the standard cinema 4d but like I said you
want to really you really want to be working fast so when that’s once I bring
up the redshift you’ll have this graph editor in here and it looks a little bit
intimidating it’s all using nodes but it’s super simple like you can actually
drag and drop your images in there so like I’ll start with my base color I’ll
bring it over I’ll just drop it in its gonna take a second to load in because
the 4k texture and then your output color you just drag it over until the
light turns green ok yeah so when you let go you’ll come up with all these
options and basically I notice a lot of options here but you just have to kind
of think okay so I brought my diffuse color in you want to connect it to your
diffuse color so it’s as simple as that and then so you connect that and then
we’ll see our sure pop up on our material screen and
then let me replace it with so what I’m doing is I’m replacing the materials
that I already built with the one we just built so you can kind of see once I
start adding the the arm the bump map and the normals and just for Speed sake
let me take this done I’ll just make it 1080 instead of a three case that
renders a little bit faster so it’s preparing actually let me take it off
the stereo camera so we can see what we’re doing as well so I’ll show you
guys how to do that later but we’re just gonna do standard for now okay so if you
can see here you saw how fast that rendered that’s because the GPU
rendering it’s rendering within seconds and so this is just our preview window
here but you can see we have our our seamless texture on there everything is
smooth out now inside of space nothing is as smooth we have you know the
different level is or have different depth to Longman to be able to kind of
simulate that I’m gonna add our let me stop this camera bring this down I’m
gonna bring in our displacement map so our bump map here the one with the gray
values just drag and drop that in the hair and then over on our side here you
can just type it in displacement let me make this larger so everybody see it so
here’s our bump map here with our gray values displacement you drag and drop it
in here and then you just connect it like we did before you take the output
until it turns green let go to click and then get a texture and then make it a
texture map and as you work with this stuff it just becomes second nature like
it just takes a little bit getting used to but so we have our bump map going to
our displacement tone as a displacement map
and then we’re gonna connect our main output tone it’s a displacement map and
then just give it a couple of seconds for the update there in our our height
field or no was it our our space type we want tangent just because it’s going to
give us a little bit more depth and then let me pull up our render window again
and we should see a big difference in the height map there so I’m going to
render it again so you can see now we’re starting to get the little cloud effects
like it’s actually adding depth to it and so as we’re traveling through you’re
gonna actually feel those clouds like the depth coming past you because we’re
going to render it and I’m stereo 3d and so yeah I mean that was what just a
couple of clicks is just that simple and then just adding a little bit of
detail in there it might not be a parent detail but you know I’m a stickler for
just any small details that you add in there it just makes the production value
that much better and so I’m going to bring on our normal map so here’s our
normal map that I have here I’m going to drag and drop that into into here again
so here’s our 4k normal map texture in this one you bring that in and we’ll do
it the same way we did for a displacement map
you’re gonna connect these nodes texture input and then connect it to here it’s
in the overall and then bump input and I can send you a map on how to map the
stuff out it just takes a little bit of working with to get used to it but it’s
like anything as you work with it becomes second nature so again we want
to use our tangent space to give the the bump a little bit more oomph and now hit
render here again we should see a little bit of difference just and a little bit
of detail into our wormhole give me a couple of seconds and it’s done yeah so
now we have a little bit more detail and our dead
and that’s essentially our wormhole for this example I rendered it out in 3k so
if you go up to your edit render settings you have a bunch of presets in
here you know for your your film stuff you have film 4k HD you have standard
but for this since we’re working in stereo you’ll want to go up to screen
and then down here you’ll have your square and so you have your 4k which is
what like 4096 about 4096 you can do your 3k here which I’m going to do just
the render and faster which is yeah you get you can manually type in your specs
here too so yeah so just for the presets it goes up to 4k but you know you could
take your six okay if you want but you just have to make sure your machine can
handle it yeah you know that’s that’s a lot of rendering sir if you try to
render 6k stereo square yeah was average time to render Oh see that depends on
your scene which you’re rendering like when I tried to render this yesterday
and think what my setup it took around three minutes per frame okay so yeah it
wasn’t that bad but you know if you have like an intense scene like say you have
like a scene where you’re in a jungle you have the grass moving when defects
and all that I mean that stuff could take way longer so like this is a very
simple scene so it’s gonna render faster but you know the more complex your scene
there are more render time they’re gonna add and then just as you get used to the
software there’s tricks and so if you can do to optimize your scene you know
to make the same render faster and so that’s just all in the territory of
working with the program learning the tricks I’ll just show you that the 3k
here 3072 I’m gonna go over to our camera and all you have to do is click
on the loop yeah so the loop point was also the movement how can you move so
what I did was I started by so we’re gonna go back to the top view and so
what I have clicked right here this is our camera so our camera is right here
inside our long similar they’re here so I’ll rename this to
cylinder so we know what that is so that’s our cylinder so our camera is
this little green icon here instead it gets to the lead point I basically
manually had to do it like this red dot right here
that’s our record so that’s your when you click on it it makes a key frames
and then basically what I did was I went up to 150 frames that’s how long I was
seeing this and then I kind of just I bought it so like at her beginning I
looked at the line the line is right here live with the camera and then
whenever I came up I just went there go down here and just manually move the
point or you go you could grab it by Cintas so long like you know I could
grab my Z right here and you can manually move it and I just did it until
like it looked the same so I manually moved it made a keyframe
and then I come in here so you can kind of see but this is frame zero and then I
move up to 150 and it’s practically lined up but yeah there’s no
mathematical way that I can figure out to make it exact but you know you just
have to kind of go and how can you see the preview of the loop okay oh so you
hit the there’s this green button here you just play forward and you can play
it and your your renderer preview here nice so yeah you see as it’s going up
you see it’s practically moving like you can’t even tell where the loop point is
and that just comes with experience too you know a lot of stuff is just
problem-solving so you know I like the problem-solving further stuff out as I
go so that’s just one of those things I really wanted to make something that
looked exquisite but not have to do it super long render times like normally
what a lot of people will do is make their super long cylinder and then they
render out like 2,000 frames but that’s not if
because you know you’re wasting a lot of render time specially because the stuff
takes a bit to render so the most logical thing to do is just make a loop
and they’ll work with your loop inside After Effects and then okay so yeah like
I was saying on your camera you get onto your camera tight and you can make it
stereo spherical like if you just want to make it mono then you just click
spherical and if I do a render in the window let’s see how long this would
take hopefully not too long okay yeah so this is what your your mono render would
look like but if you make it stereo you get all these options to pop up down
here so the way we like to work is top to bottom but you can also do side to
side if that’s your thing or if you just want you know left eye only right I only
yeah you can make it 180 you can mix what your different degrees down here I
mean you have full exposure to all the different settings so this one is 3k
that’s right so yeah I’ll show you what it looks like top bottom and so yeah
when you render it out that’s exactly what you’re gonna get so when you bring
it into After Effects we can um I can show you how you can actually take 2d
images like just flat images and actually work with them in the stereo
setting there because a lot of times you might want to put like your logo or
something in there and you there’s like no way you can make your your logo
stereo so an after fix you can actually work with it in a real time like when
you place a hair it’s gonna place it there and it’s gonna be exactly yeah and
that’s the part that’s all the part of the after effects package now since they
were they acquired the middle skybox stuff all that stuff with built in now
so if you learn after effects you have access to all that so before I jump out
of cinema did you have any more questions on how to do anything else in
there or you want to jump into After Effects rich ok thank you for watching the part
1 of this advance 263 our motion graphic design series I try to keep each episode
under 20 minutes because there are lots of information to take in and you need
time to practice what you just learned from Jonathan in part two we will show
you how to bring in 3d assets like the stereo background we just created in
cinema 4d into After Effects and compositive it with a live-action
green-screen we are 180 footage I shot with the Zeke mk1 Pro and color grading
techniques you can use to mesh them together as a seamless futuristic design
like what you saw at moon base invasion in part 3 we will show you how you can
obtain free 3d assets on the internet instead of making your own in cinema 4d
some rendering techniques without using redshift we will show you how to create
an interesting 3d background with the brand-new metal flux and how to put
everything together with the live-action green-screen
we are 180 footage and 3d elements all with in after-effects a good VR peace
cannot be finished without good audio that communicates with the video so in
part 4 we will show you audio techniques beyond just spatial audio we will use
sub pack a wearable based system to design graphical elements that we add to
the music which we will use the brand new tracks from mixed master mic it will
show you how easy to leverage the powerful audio we add engine from metal
mantra to create some very interesting effects
I will also create a bonus episode to show you how I approach using VR 180
green screen footage within VR 360 and how to key out the are 180 footage with
forest effects continuum and other common key solutions this is a massive
series decided to up your game in virtual
a bridge between life action br-2 motion graphic design and to achieve some of
the Hollywood effect you see in recent successful PR pieces we want to make
this series for you so comment below if you have any question and Chris again we
are doing this free and all out the love of PR so it will really help us if you
can like our videos and share this series with your friends now go take a
break and come back next week for part 2 in After Effects


  1. Moon Monkey Media Author

    Excellent video as always! I'm looking forward to watching your workflow for adding post touches to 360/180. I'm stoked to see all of it but I don't think I can wait all those weeks! HAHA! I've been working on some footage for clients and any little tidbits on your techniques are welcome!

    Side note, I met Jonathan at the Mettle booth at SIGGRAPH a year ago (along with Mix Master Mike!) and he was super cool. A very talented guy who is more than happy to chat and share. Great tutorial, Jonathan!

  2. Sandro Siliuto Author

    AMAZING idea, i,m very interesting in this tutorials series, i would like to know how can no lose quality from muy Qoocam stiching ti render again in after effects, you rock very fun of your stuff

  3. Jakob la Cour Author


    I have just looked into Cinema 4D because I am trying to build skills or find someone with the skills to be able to combine volumetric recording with photogrammetry scenary for a real world performance installation. 'I saw the future' by François Vautier ( really inspired me. François told me that he had used Cinema 4D +fv.

    Do you know what the +fv means?

  4. David Sobell Author

    Another great video. Thanks Hugh and Jonathan (big fan of your music vids – they look fantastic if a little freaky 🙂

    Question for Hugh and apologies as off-topic from video: When is a more hands-on Insta360 Pro 2 review coming? I'm effectively holding off purchasing one until I see a few YouTubers review it and tell me it doesn't have any fundamental flaws that make it a poor solution.


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